Why Do People fail to Learn Programming?

So I’ve been on an Instagram Page for over two years. Now and in that time I’ve gotten hundreds and hundreds of messages from people asking me how to learn to code? Told me their plan for learning the code saying they got super inspired but unfortunately a lot of these people never make it. Now it’s not because they’re not smart enough but I strongly believe it’s because they’ve fallen into one of four traps. These are mistakes that if you can avoid them the only thing that stands between you and that programming career is being distracted by youtube videos.

So here I’m gonna talk about those four traps and how you can successfully avoid them. Also, I’m gonna try to give you a unique perspective and unique insights that you probably can’t find anywhere else. By giving you my opinion as a programmer for at this point close to four years anyway.

Trap 1) Mindset

Let’s get right into it with the first trap. So you’ve heard the analogy of your brain being a computer before. Hardware is important but more important I think is your operating system. That is your mindset. This concept is growth versus fixed mindset. Now growth mindset is what you want. Where you’re focusing on. How much better you’re getting at something every day instead of how good you currently are.

So if you look over the past week how good were you on Monday versus Friday that’s really what you should be focusing on. Because if you do that it’s just a matter of time before you get closer and closer to where you actually want to be. I’ll give you an example I’m learning French right now and at first, I was just trying to pronounce “serrurerie“which means locksmith. I couldn’t even remember it. But then i finally got it and I realized hey now that I know this I’m gonna know it forever. I just have this in my vocabulary.

So it’s the same with coding once you know how to reverse a linked list or traverse on the dom with javascript, you just have that skill now. No one’s going to take it away from you. So a growth mindset is a super important first tip and it’s going to get more interesting from here.

Trap 2) Tutorial Treadmill

The next trap that you’ve almost certainly heard of is called Tutorial Hell. I prefer to call it the Tutorial Treadmill. Though it’s where you keep running doing tutorial after tutorial and you’re not going anywhere. You’re actually in the same place and your enthusiasm just slowly goes down. Later you get discouraged because you feel like it’s too hard.

But I’m here to tell you that you haven’t actually gotten any closer to mastery until you write your first line of code without help. I’ll say that again until you actually write a line of code. If you copy it then you’re still at square one. So that’s why I encourage people to get on practice sites like Codewars absolutely as soon as possible. The reason is when the learning starts and people feel like they’re dumb. As they’ve already watched 100 hours of tutorials.

When they go on sites like Codewars they can’t even do the easiest problem. Probably because you’re still a baby in code. Years until you start writing code it’s so simple but so many people don’t understand this. So just start writing code today. Start doing projects even if they’re too hard. You will get there faster than you think, I promise.

Trap 3) Arbitrary Niche

Let’s talk about trap number three which is Not Choosing a Niche. So a lot of programming YouTubers will say don’t focus on specific technology focus on general programming skills and you’re gonna be fine. So I don’t necessarily agree. The reason is companies are fundamentally hiring you to solve a business need and if you can’t do that they’re gonna have to train you from scratch. Even if you have the foundation of programming but if you can’t solve the problem from day one and someone else can why are they gonna hire you. Just think about it.

What do I mean by niche and how do you choose one? Well, a lot of people focus on programming as a whole. That’s way too broad. You can go down to something like javascript or python that’s still too broad. Though what you really need to do is keep going deeper. So go into javascript. Go deeper into react and then start building react web apps with Next.js. That’ll be your niche stack.

So now any company that uses react and especially Next.js on top of that they’re going to see you. You’re going to be the perfect fit. Very specific into a niche is actually gonna help you a lot.

Don’t be the DevOps guy be the AWS expert who writes the sickest deployment scripts and has a tattoo of all the AWS services. Another example is don’t just be the backend guy or the python guy be the Django specialist who is so good at Django. You can start pushing code on day one.

A final note on this Trap. This is a little bit less true with large tech companies because they have the resources to train you. Whereas the smaller the company can’t waste their time or money on you. It’s the truest when you’re freelancing because the client is definitely not going to train you. You have to be able to save them time.

Trap 4) Trying To Do It Alone

Lastly, Trap number four is Trying To Do It Alone. There’s a reason why people are willing to pay so much for a college or coding boot camp. That is to get into a community of like-minded individuals. Because without that a college is it’s just a library and some old people reading you a book. Anyway, these institutions are really expensive but the community is invaluable. It’s really good on the other end of the spectrum. You have free forms and communities. You have things like Stack Overflow, Reddit, and open course communities like Harvard CS50.

Also, you can join and people are doing the same course. But the problem with these is because they’re free maybe not, people aren’t really invested in the community. So they come one day they go one day. If they sign up they never do it. All that kinds of things. So it can be kind of watered down with these people who are just trying to either extract value and not give it back or they’re just very ephemeral. The final option which is kind of in the middle community wise is a paid course that is going to have a strong group attached to it.

So those are the four traps you definitely want to avoid when you’re learning the code. If you can get around those mistakes you’ll be in pretty good shape. Hopefully, you’ll be emailing me your success story.

Become a Great Programmer: Read Here.

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